China H-shares hit 8-month closing low, commodities slide

HONG KONG, March 12 Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:06am EDT

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HONG KONG, March 12 (Reuters) - Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong closed at their lowest since July on Wednesday, led by resources-related counters after commodities markets again slumped to multiyear lows, with further losses feared ahead of more macroeconomic data.

The China Enterprises Index of the top offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong sank 1.6 percent to 9,364.5 points, its lowest closing level since July 10.

The Hang Seng Index ended down 1.7 percent at 21,902 points, the lowest close since Feb. 10.

China official data for urban investment, industrial output and retail sales are due on Thursday and could add to slowdown fears after a disappointing series of February data in recent days. While this has sparked some talk of monetary easing, physical commodities markets have taken a beating.

The carnage had started with iron ore prices on Monday and continued with copper on Wednesday, with Shanghai copper falling by its 5 percent daily limit and London copper touching a 44-month low.

Cathay Pacific ended down 2.4 percent, extending losses after posting at the midday trading break full-year 2013 net profit of HK$2.6 billion ($334.97 million), below market expectations.

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